Do men and women require different macronutrients?27 August 2020
The amount of macronutrients that both men and women typically need does vary. Men often need more due to generally having a larger stature, which often means they require a higher caloric intake.
When we talk about macronutrients, we’re talking about carbohydrates, proteins and fats – which are all essential nutrients that your body needs large amounts of in order to process for energy.
Of course the amount of macronutrients you need as an individual will vary depending on a number of factors, such as your typical activity levels, calories in your diet and different life stages. So it’s not all just about gender, however it’s always true that men and women require different amounts…
Know your caloric needs
How many macronutrients you need is actually based around the percentage of your total calories. This is why it’s very important to know your specific caloric requirements. For an adult woman, the requirements are usually around 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day. This is usually higher for men, who generally need 2,000 to 3,000 calories each day.
Generally speaking if you’re young, and maintain a fairly regular exercise routine that you do on a daily basis, then it’s best to aim for the higher range for your gender. Aim for somewhere in between if you are moderately active and work out a few times in a week. If you happen to be over fifty years of age, then you would aim for the lower end of the range for caloric requirements.
When it comes to your body’s main energy source, carbohydrates are the name of the game. Your body converts carbs into glucose from the foods you consume, and this then travels throughout your bloodstream and is absorbed by your cells.
Carbs should make up the majority of your macronutrient intake. So for example, if you’re a man in his 20s, following a 3,000-calorie diet, you’d need around 337 to 487 grams of carbohydrates per day.
When it comes to looking after your cells, skin, tissues and vital organs when carbs and fats aren’t available – protein is king! It of course works wonders for those looking to build strong, lean muscle mass, and it offers 4 calories per gram.
So generally, between 10% to 35% of your caloric intake should come from protein, but of course this will still very much depend on your activity level. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle you probably need the lower end of the recommendation, if you’re training for an athletic event though, then you would certainly need more protein.
Consuming fat is essential for any diet, as it forms a backup source of energy, but it also helps regulate your body temperature and even helps you to better absorb fat-soluble vitamins. Essentially it’s a concentrated energy source, and can provide you with over double the calories of other macronutrients – usually up to nine grams a day.
It’s recommended that between 20% to 35% of your calories should come from fat – so for example if you’re a 30 year old woman with a fairly regular activity level, you’ll need about 2,000 calories per day, which equates to 44 to 77 grams of fat.
Having a clear meal prep plan in place can work wonders for calculating your macros. Plus, if you’re looking to fit your meal plan into a busy schedule, you can also take advantage of a meal delivery service.
At Prep Perfect, we offer tailored meal prep plans that are perfect for those wishing to stick to certain macro targets. Whether you need your muscle gain, or weight loss meals delivered, we are here to help.